Friday, July 12, 2013

Sometimes you need to get a little messy.

I love to be messy.  I'm an artist.  I encourage other's to find their inner messiness. In fact, I think getting messy is essential to adding more creativity to your life.  The messier I am the happier I am!

I asked my summer fun kids if it's O.K. to sometimes draw on their hands.  I heard a loud "NO!"  But I told them that sometimes it's O.K. to bend the rules when it comes to creating art, as long as there's a good reason (and nothing will be harmed or permanently damaged.)  So we colored on our fingers with washable markers and stamped finger prints.  We then turned these fingerprints into creatures.  Some of the children were thrilled with the activity.  Others wanted to wash their hands right away.  Even though I'd said it was O.K. to color on their hands for the project some children just couldn't live with this rule bending when it came to messiness.

The next day we painted with gusto.  As the kids slathered on the paint I enjoyed watching them get messier and messier.  Today was even better!!!  We pulled out paper, glue and scissors and really dug in.  The results were beautiful and everyone had a great time.

I think getting messy is great way to loosen up.  Allowing yourself to let go and experiment opens up the gateway to more creativity.  In fact, I think that getting messy is a great way to clean a closet, cook a meal, garden and even write a blog post about how to make a fish collage.


  1. Cut 2 pieces of white paper - 8 x 24 or 8 x 18,
  2. Get out some tempra, acrylic or watercolor paint.  Cover one sheet with cool colors:  blues, greens and purples.  Paint the other sheet with warm colors:  reds, yellows and oranges.  Let dry.
  3. On the orange paper either trace or draw simple fish shapes. Glue to your blue paper.
  4. Add details to your fish using other colorful papers, hole punches and colored pencils.
  5. See how close your work resembles Eric Carle's


  1. Get messy while cleaning the closet?

    Ha, my closet is already a work of art! :)

    Love the Eric Carle imitations. I used to love doing this stuff with my kids. Now they are grown and the best I can do is make a "mess" with yarn while pretending to learn how to knit.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    (A friend from UBC 2013)

  2. Sadly my environment is too messy to have space for creative messiness to occur. Your art looks like lots if fun though. So, as I work on clearing the clutter, I'll work on leaving room for creative messiness to occur.